Did you know that five or more sunburns or one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence can double your risk of developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer?
Summer is the time to go outside with your friends and family to enjoy the warm weather and great company. Here is what you need to know to make smart decisions about UV safety for you and your family, throughout the summer!
What are symptoms of a sunburn?
- Red, warm, swollen, and tender skin
- Headache and/or fever
These symptoms aren't always immediate and usually appear four hours after the prolonged exposure, worsen in 24-36 hours, and resolve in three to five days.
How can I treat or relieve my sunburn?
- Put a cold, damp towel on your skin. Take frequent cool baths or showers to relieve the pain, this also helps draw heat out of your skin
- Immediately after, pat dry and use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera to help soothe the skin
- Drink extra water and stay hydrated, this will help prevent dehydration and feelings of dizziness, nausea, and fatigue
- Take an ibuprofen, especially if the sunburn really hurts. This will help reduce swelling, redness, and discomfort
What are some long-term effects of overexposure to the sun?
- Premature wrinkling
- Aging of the skin
- Age spots
- Increased risk of skin cancer
Chronic exposure of sunlight to the eyes can also cause cataracts and sometimes macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
How can you protect yourself from the harsh effects of UV radiation?
-Stay in the shade: Between the hours of 10AM-4PM, try to stay out of the sun or where more protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt and a large-brimmed hat.
-Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen: This type of sunscreen protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). It is also important to find a sunscreen that is as least a sun protection factor (SPF) value of 15 to ensure protection.
-Make sure to re-apply! Though many sunscreens are labeled as "water-resistant," they must be reapplied throughout the day. Apply sunscreen every two hours, especially after sweating or swimming.
The American Cancer Society has an awareness campaign for skin cancer prevention. Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap is a quick and easy way to ensure you and your family stay safe in the sun this summer!
-Slip on a shirt
-Slop on sunscreen
-Slap on a hat
-Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes and sensitive skin around them